I first met Querida when she was seven years old. She was a bright girl, with deep brown eyes and a passion for writing.
I was used to meeting the deeply disturbed. Emasculated men who had murdered mothers and wives over impotence, scorned women who had declared war on all men in their path, children who had faced war and abuse for years and finally succumbed to the pressure, but there was something quite different about Querida, upon first glance.
Her parents had shown her nothing but unwavering affection, even now. She had never really hurt anyone, according to her doting (but delusional) parents and could be considered the stereotypical spoiled child, so at first glance, it could be confusing as to why she needed psychological assistance when the word “No” from her parents would have sufficed.
I had looked at her almost clean file with bewilderment, in the lead up to our first session, and my confusion continued when we met. She had been sent to me, as a precaution, by her parents, who had concerns, and money to burn.
I asked her if she would like a drink, and she politely declined, asking me if I would like to see a tap dance. I politely declined and reminded her that we were here to discuss her sister. She smiled sweetly, swinging her legs against the couch, in a way that wouldn’t have concerned many, but did me.
“I don’t have one any more.” She said, her smile broadening. “But I have a wonderful article about the one I used to have.”
The rich have a funny way of buying themselves out of trouble, and in that moment, I realised that was exactly what her rich parents had done. Querida’s article was surprisingly well written, but couldn’t hide the fact that she had stabbed her sister to death, and her parents, and their money had made it go away. This therapy session wasn’t preemptive, to stop Querida from hurting someone for the first time, it was an attempt to keep the monster she had already became at bay.
I sat across from her for a few minutes. She was humming quietly, staring directly at me, relentlessly. I stared back, almost afraid to break her gaze, which is ridiculous, when you’re being stared out by a child, but most children are not killers.
I thought I should ask something. Anything, just to break the silence, or to move things along, but I couldn’t really comprehend her.
“Why?” She tilted her head, inquisitively, a smile spreading across her face, but the answer still elusive. “Why did you write this?”
“I was bored.” She swung her legs against the chair, almost melodically. “It’s the most interesting thing my sister has ever been involved in.”
Every motion was chilling. She seemed almost excited to discuss her crime. I couldn’t decide whether I should push her for more information, or run for my life.
“How do you think she felt about it?” She smiled again, twirling one of her pigtails around her finger.
“Who cares?” Her callousness was appalling, but intriguing. “She’s got bigger problems now.”
“And what would they be?” She sank back in the chair, apathy creeping across her face, which concerned me, because she didn’t seem to take apathy or boredom well.
“Duh…” She rolled her eyes. “She’s dead.”
That was when I knew, Querida was an incredibly dangerous little girl.